Lymphangitis and cellulitis in horses

  • A white check mark
    This article has been edited and approved by Karen Coumbe MRCVS, H&H’s veterinary advisor since 1991.
  • Lymphangitis is a potentially serious equine condition caused by bacterial infection of the lymphatic system. Here’s what you need to know...

    Lymphangitis in horses: Signs | Diagnosis & treatment | Prevention

    A horse with lymphangitis typically has a hot, painful, very swollen hindleg. This is a potentially serious limb condition, which can cause permanent damage. The cause is uncertain in many cases. In the past it was blamed on bacteria gaining entry inside the limb’s soft tissues, but this is now thought to be only one of several contributing causes. Some cases are thought to be linked to nutrition, as the disease is seen in working horses whose legs filled after being rested over the weekend when fed normal rations, hence the name Monday morning leg. Other cases may develop following an infection, such as a puncture wound. Some cases are linked to specific diseases, for instance the condition purpura haemorrhagica, which can be complication of strangles and/or other diseases.

    You may also be interested in…

    Hoof abscess (pus in the foot)

    An abscess in the hoof can be excruciatingly painful for the horse but this common problem is normally quite straightforward

    Thrush in the horse’s hoof

    Thrush is a degenerative infection of the horse's frog that causes it to rot away and has a distinctive aroma